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back to article Barnes & Noble to sling their Nook - report

As Barnes & Noble prepare investors for disappointing quarterly results on Thursday, the company will move away from making hardware and put more emphasis on shifting digital books, a New York Times source says. The company - America's biggest bookseller and the maker of the Nook tablet - has announced that yearly revenue for …

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WTF?

What???!

So some ass-hat at B&N thinks that they can stop selling Nook devices, but instead make money selling e-books for Nook.

This is like an amusement park owner deciding to close an unprofitable park, but expecting to keep selling food from the on-site stalls!

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Re: What???!

No; the "ass-hat" thinks they can make more money selling e-books for the hardware platforms that actually sell in significant numbers - i.e. Android tablets, iPads (and rather more spuriously) Microsoft tablets\phones. Nook reader apps are available for all those hardware platforms.

That only leaves the hardware Kindles, but they could sell open books for that - or not bother with that part of the market, since it's so tied to Amazon delivery system.

And they're probably right.

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Re: What???!

It's more like letting outside companies in to run the rides, but continuing to maintain the amusement park and selling hot-dogs (etc.) to the punters, which they can then take on the rides vomit down their fronts. Yeah, this analogy fell apart pretty fast.

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Faster than a speeding bullet

The decline and fail of the Nook.

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Anonymous Coward

Takes MS's money then drops nook.

Conspiracy theory, coincidence or the usual MS business practice ?

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Re: Takes MS's money then drops nook.

"Conspiracy theory, coincidence or the usual MS business practice ?"

None of those.

A traditional book retailer was never going to be able to develop its own hardware as a sustainable commercial offer - just because Amazon got the Kindle successfully to market, it was never going to work for B&N, because they don't have the digital expertise or scale of Amazon, and coming in afterwards with no real differentiation was never going to give them market share.

You can choose for yourselves whether this was a brave try that was ultimately unsuccessful (yet might have been), or whether B&N were simply the wrong company to try this, and moved too late into digital with inevitable consequences. I think the latter.

But you're right that one usual MS business practice is present, and that's the "two losers make one winner" maths that Ballmer seems to use. So just as they tried to and failed to be a Google with the failed aQuantive acquisition (and Bing hasn't made much noise in the search engine market), then they've tied up with the fast vanishing Nokia to be a player in mobile phones, here they're tying themselves to a failed ebook seller. If BB10 flops, then expect MS to bid for them. It's a pity Kodak have gone - MS could have bought them too.

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Anonymous Coward

What a Ballmer! MSFT owns 17% of Nook

The Ballmer touch .... again. Never fails to FAIL

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a Ballmer! MSFT owns 17% of Nook

Is that you Eadon? :-)

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JDX
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Re: What a Ballmer! MSFT owns 17% of Nook

Don't Amazon sell more Kindle e-books to people running non-Kindle hardware?

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Unhappy

A shame

If only that the Nook makes a pretty nice hackable e-ink Android tablet.

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Anonymous Coward

Blue?

given the rumors of an 8" Windows Blue device that have been floating around I wonder if there's a smart trajectory for these guys... dump their own platform but be a default pre-loaded app on every Win8/WinRT device?

Surface - with it's 16:9 aspect ratio - isn't the greatest for portrait reading (too tall/thin) but hopefully a 16:10 8" device would fit the sweet spot

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WTF?

Re: Blue?

I thought "blue" was basically a big service pack, not a device?

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Anonymous Coward

The problem with ereaders

They're just too good.

Unlike tablets, phones and, laptops, you don't need to upgrade. They work for years, there are no new features you'll ever want (you read books... that's more or less it... what more would you want?)

This is unlike other electronic products that generally break after a year and need to be constantly upgraded or replaced to keep up with the latest and greatest software.

The ereader manufacturers should just scale back production so you can replace the odd broken one and people who don't have one yet can get a new one. As at the end of the day no tablet/laptop/phone is as good at reading books on as an ereader.

I'm waiting off till colour ebook readers (they're out in Korea) but just coz a lot of the PDFs I'd want to read would be ropey in grey scale.

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Re: The problem with ereaders

You beat me too it. epub3 would be nice as well.

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Re: The problem with ereaders

Totally agree. I'm fine with my Kindle 3G. I will only upgrade for a larger viewing area (a decent book size screen) with a white background (I find the grey a bit nasty).

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Boffin

Re: The problem with ereaders

EPUB3 would be critical for me, but I read stuff with math formulas in it, so I may not be a typical customer.

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Tables vs Readers

Best e-book readers aren't tablets anyway.. the screens aren't designed for reading in sunlight which is more important than you think. Choosing a device to save you luggage space (10 books or one tablet/reader?) usually means deciding on which device will last the longest without a recharge, will also survive a trip to the beach and won't give you tendonitis trying to use it with one hand while sipping a mai-tai from the other.

Personally I'd rather risk a 50 quid e-reader than a 500 quid tablet if I wanted to relax on the beach. Obviously the 5 quid book is better but not having to decide which to bring or having the agony of forgetting the book you really wanted makes the gamble worthwhile.

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Cyanogenmod

I'm guessing one reason is that these Nook Colors (And the Nook Tablet) are already getting hacked and having CyanogenMod put on them. Hey presto and now you have a cheap color android tablet. I got mine from a pawn shop since the hack voided the warranty for about $75.

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Loss leader?

I had always assumed the Nook would break even at best, and they wanted to shift them into peoples hands to increase EBook sales. They should probably not waste mony designing a bunch of NEW Nook models, I mean, if it's already good for reading books their job is done. It'd be best to ship their books in non-proprietary formats (if they aren't already), but a Nook app would be good as well if they don't already have one; there's something to be said for having the same books pull up on the web Kindle viewer, on the Android device (with Kindle app) and on whatever actual Kindle you may own.

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An update on the B&N situation

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/02/largest-shareholder-offers-to-buy-barnes-noble-minus-nook-division/

Largest shareholder offers to buy Barnes & Noble, minus Nook division

B&N could yield a private bookstore chain and publicly-traded e-book firm.

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Anonymous Coward

Nook Customer Service, not so good.

Have you ever deal with Nook CS? Google it, you'll learn why Kindle is getting bigger and bigger share. Kindle PaperWhite should be a disaster, but their CS does eventually save the day. It amazes me people still read.

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